Carabineros Face Backlash Over Alleged Suicide in Police Station

PEDRO AGUIRRE CERDA – A couple was detained for violating pandemic restrictions. The male supposedly hanged himself while in custody. Although the circumstances remain unclear, this is just the latest death with Carabineros involved, sparking a fresh wave of protests.

Ignoring pandemic restrictions, including the non-use of face masks, got a couple in Santiago’s Pedro Aguirre Cerda district into trouble that turned into tragedy.

Both were taken into custody by Carabineros on Sunday morning. But while the female was released soon after, her partner, Camilo Miyaki, was moved into a separate cell, according to Carabineros. After a short while Miyaki’s girlfriend returned to bring him some food, but overheard officers talking about a dead prisoner.

Upon inquiries she was pushed out of the police station, according to a statement by human rights NGO Anexppsa, which is working with Camilo Miyaki’s family. In the end, the death of her boyfriend was confirmed.

District mayor Juan Rozas has demanded a full investigation and called the death of the 26-year-old “profoundly painful and inexplicable.”

Anexppsa said Miyaki did not have any mental health issues and was “a kind, emotionally stable person.”

The investigations police and the public prosecutor have dismissed third-party involvement. Yet, the event sparked outrage and #NadieSeSuicidaEnUnaComisaría (Nobody commits suicide in police custody) was trending on Twitter.

Fresh Wave of Violence

Protesters demanded justice for Miyaki and reiterated demands for police reform in downtown Santiago, but also on Plaza Italia – ground zero of the social uprising

More protests took place in Santiago’s Puente Alto and Pedro Aguirre Cerda districts, and in Lo Prado a police station was attacked with molotov cocktails, stones and even fireworks, Radio BioBío reported.

Deaths In Police Custody

Miyaki is not the first to die under murky circumstances in police custody. Haitian citizen Joane Florvil died in 2017 after having been detained for hours because of a misunderstanding. Similarly, César Mallea was found hanging in his cell in October 2019 in Peñaflor, south of Santiago.

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